Hoe he'e nalu Anyone?
According to Wikipedia, Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he'e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and reemerged as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint. This increased visibility of what was going on around them such as incoming swell.
This year brings Stand up paddle surfing to St. Croix and specifically to Frederiksted thanks to the folks at Teres Veho ("smooth rider") SUP Adventure Fitness. Pi Pesto (a professional ballet dancer/trainer/coach) and her three sons Q (at 14 a great mentor to young and old and self-taught musician), Johnnie, 21, and Frankie, 22 (both professional athletes) along with partner Bill Ruggiero, a professional ice hockey player), and Ishaba Jackson (straight from Hawaii who lives for surf ) run the show with a little help from 4-legged SUPers Ogie and Mouse Pad! "We're all self-taught paddlers but our athletic training has been engraved into us since we were kids," says Pi.
All kinds of paddle experiences are offered in their two locations, Cottages By the Sea, and Frederiksted Beach, like Full Moon Paddles, Adventure Boot Camps, and Altoona Lagoon. Rent snorkel gear, chairs, umbrellas, skim boards, surf boards, and skate boards (soon come roller skates) from their Surf Shop and visit their Beach Bar Canteen (with sister Nikki Cicero cooking in the kitchen) for homemade hummus & chips, tontones, aranitas, conch fritters, and burgers. SUP'ing benefits athletes with a strong core workout but is easy to learn. Within 30-60 minutes, you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. A lot of surfers have converted because of the versatility of the sport allowing them the ability to catch more waves in a set as well as offering a better view of incoming sets.
"Finland was our last long-term residence," says Pi. "Now, after three years here on St. Croix, when I am not SUP'ing, I am raising my family, meditating, doing organic farming, playing in the kitchen, learning something new every day and meeting knew people."
Pi continues, "We all go through extensive safety training to offer our SUPers a safe, enjoyable experience. All team members are Red Cross CPR Certified. We have a great team here--everyone lives and breathes for the water and the waves!"
For more information, call 227-0682.